Returning to the hosting chair, James Mathison will be once again joined by Survivor stats savant Shannon Guss. James and Shannon will be joined by the previously announced King George Mladenov, but what is a king without his queen?
Well, George won’t be the only Brains v Brawn royal dissecting every big move, blindside and blunder in Blood v Water as Hayley Leake, winner of Australian Survivor: Brains v Brawn, also joins the gang.
We caught up with Hayley and Shannon to get all of their thoughts on the upcoming season, as well as what it will be like to recap another season.
“Every time I see an ad for Survivor, and JLP’s face on the screen I get goosebumps,” Hayley said. “The outback, the challenges, the glint in the players' eyes as they describe their strategy. Survivor never disappoints and I expect this season will be no different.”
In 2022 Australian Survivor will take the game in a whole new direction with Blood v Water, pairing related couples up and putting even the strongest bonds to the test. The theme has been done in the US twice and, according to Shannon, they are must-watch seasons.
“Both US seasons of Blood Vs Water are top-tier seasons for me, so I'm keen to see it again and to see how the Aussies do it,” Shannon told 10 play.
“There's an extra psychological and strategic layer to analyse with loved ones involved, so I can't wait to dig into the gameplay and relationships, and to have a new section of fans exposed to a bold but always rewarding concept.”
Hayley agreed, adding, “I love the Blood v Water theme so much. Brothers, sisters, partners, in-laws. It’s a recipe for brutal blindsides, emotional revenge and an epic season!”
For Hayley, the experience of watching Blood V Water will be completely different now that she’s not only competed but been crowned Sole Survivor.
“I’ll have a lot more empathy for the players,” Hayley told 10 play, “how hard it is to be away from loved ones, sleeping on the dirt, living on rice rations. How complex and layered the strategy is — the paranoia, the fear of being found looking for idol or conversations overheard, the excitement when a blindside works out.”
Not only has the theme been done in the US before, but one of the most renowned US Survivor players, Sandra Diaz-Twine, will be joining the season alongside her daughter Nina.
Hayley simply warned the new castaways, “Underestimate Sandra at your own peril.”
Shannon added, “Sandra is not only one of the best players ever whose record speaks for itself but also one of the best characters in Survivor history.
“With iconic moments, incredible confessionals and a lot of humour, she's always a joy to watch and great entertainment. Watching her pass the torch and seeing how the Twine dynasty continues with her daughter Nina will be a fascinating next step in the evolution of the global series.”
Coming back for her third season of Australian Survivor Talking Tribal, Shannon said she was ‘completely honoured’.
“Getting to talk about Survivor with greats from the show and the entertainment world is a privilege, I'm always just over-awed to be part of the team. It's another really fun group this season and I'm so excited for what's in store!”
Superfan Hayley also admitted that she had seen every season of Australian Survivor Talking Tribal.
“Hands down my favourite part about Survivor is the strategy, but the strategy is always more complex than what we see on the episode. There are so many layers, every player has different motivations.
“There are plans that you spend all day making that never come through. The gang on Talking Tribal point all of this out and can validate the small, subtle moves that you might not notice but that can make the difference at the end of the day.”
Australian Survivor: Blood V Water premieres Monday, January 31 at 7.30 on Network 10 and 10 play on demand